San Clemente Educational Foundation
Feb 02, 2007 10:31PM
By Don Kindred
by Shanuna Hunt
The bad news is … over-burdened high school teachers are often unable to give one-on-one help to needy students for prolonged periods of time. The good news is … extra help is available at San Clemente High School in the form of a Wednesday after-school tutorial program. Furthermore … freshman, feeling out of place, confused and alone, can become involved in the Freshman Mentor Program that pairs lower classmen with upper classmen. And … those students becoming progressively more and more driven to complete as many college credits in high school as they can - to enable them to reach their college career goals faster – have opportunity to participate in the International Baccalaureate program.
The driving force behind these successful programs at SCHS is the San Clemente Educational Foundation.
Discouraged by an increasing lack of motivation, a group of teachers, parents and influential community members came together to attempt making a change in the lives of students at the local high school. After school tutoring, the Freshman Mentor Program and the services of a college counselor, are just a few of the student supports the SCEF are participating in.
Started approximately ten-years-ago the SCEF has had the main goal of raising money for academics, as well as providing support for a college counselor who’s main area of expertise is college admissions and the application process. The hiring of Mr. Patrick Harris, both the high school’s main college counselor and Advanced Placement Psychology teacher, was one of the first actions taken at the high school.
The Foundation’s founders include: Mr. and Mrs. Sigafoos, Rob and Susan Sall, Dr. Greg Thomas, Dr. Randy Griffin, Gary and Jenifer Stickland, the Kadakia’s family and others, who have registered the foundation as a 501C3 non-profit. The purpose of the organization is to distribute money to specific academic programs that the Foundation deemed necessary. Main support for the SCEF comes in the form of personal donations from the parents of students and other supporters of the program. In order to set the Foundation’s budget each fall, the main founders meet with the principal and discuss the goals for the next school year, deciding how much money will be donated to various school programs. At the end of each school year, the SCEF has an annual Luau and silent auction as another attempt to raise money for the fall’s budget. Last year’s Luau committee allowed students to help set up for the night’s events, earning community service hours for volunteering their help. Each item auctioned at the affair was privately donated with all proceeds going to the foundation.
Without the San Clemente Educational Foundation, San Clemente High School would not be able to accomplish the educational progress it is experiencing today. In the past ten years, the number of students participating in the Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate classes have increased, and test scores in the AP/IB exams have risen dramatically, enabling SCHS college applicants to declare themselves graduates of a high school in the top two percent in the county. b